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JetBlue Flyer Faces $14,500 Fine for Not Wearing Face Mask, Drinking Alcohol Stash

A JetBlue passenger traveling out of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Dominican Republic is facing $14,500 in civil fines after a poor performance after takeoff. The FAA says the unnamed flyer refused to wear a face covering and drank from his own alcohol stash, leading the captain to return to JFK for assistance.

A JetBlue flyer may be forced to pay $14,500 in fines, after the Federal Aviation Administration says his behavior caused a flight to return to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). In a press release, the unnamed passenger is accused of not wearing a face covering and consuming his own alcohol after repeated warnings from the flight crew.

Flight Returned to JFK 4,000 Pounds Overweight Over Flyer’s Actions

The incident took place aboard a flight departing JFK on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. After departure, the FAA claims the passenger disturbed people around him by speaking loudly and refused to wear a face covering. Flight attendants attempted to resolve the situation by moving the passenger to another seat.

However, his antics not only continued, but escalated in the new seat. The FAA release says he continued to not wear a face covering and drank alcohol that he brought aboard the flight. After being told to stop multiple times by flight attendants, he was given a “Notice to Cease Illegal and Objectionable Behavior.”

It was at this point the captain was informed of the situation, and decided to declare an emergency. Although he was able to successfully return to John F. Kennedy International Airport, the aircraft landed 4,000 pounds overweight due to the fuel level.

It is unclear if the passenger was ultimately arrested for his behavior, but he will most likely be placed on JetBlue’s internal “do not fly” list for refusing to wear a face covering. The passenger will have 30 days to respond to the fine.

FAA Continues “Zero-Tolerance Policy” After Continued Confrontations

Although the flyer was removed before the FAA “Zero-Tolerance Policy” was instituted, the agency will keep it in place for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic due to continued passenger issues on flights. Passengers who knowingly disrupt a flight will face fines up $35,000 and possible criminal prosecution.

bbriscoe34 March 21, 2021

"do the airlines actually police those who pour a mini-bottle into their pop?" Not if they aren't obvious a-holes about it.

MEaton March 20, 2021

Why? I don't think someone consuming alcohol will be asked to fly the plane. As long as the passenger is courteous and not disruptive in any way; I think he/she should be able to bring their own nips on board..

htb March 19, 2021

@jybrick: it is against FAA regulations to consume alcohol on board unless served by the airline.

VRFast March 18, 2021

I really like the "internal no fly list". Now we can bar a-holes like this to ever fly again. Too bad they are not shared between airlines, or maybe they are...

jybrick March 18, 2021

If the plane landed 4,000 lbs overweight, that is on the pilot not the passenger. Is drinking your own alcohol illegal?